For better or for worse, it looks like the aforementioned Toshiba laptop is mine to keep, indefinitely. My offer to return it to its rightful owner today was shrugged off politely.
Oh … joy. …
I still haven’t managed to get to the BIOS, it still won’t boot from CD and still Slitaz is the only distro that will attack its video card without cataclysmic failure.
And it still has a battered-to-death keyboard, a thick layer of goo and gunk in all the wrong places and the smell of an elderly pet that follows it everywhere.
(It’s a shame really: Why is it every machine with a smashed keyboard has an impeccable screen, and every laptop with a fractured screen has a perfect keyboard. Life isn’t fair.)
With free reign over the hardware, I felt like I could take a closer look at the original system drive; I made a point of removing the original before trying anything funny.
I don’t see any proprietary BIOS access programs anywhere, although the machine has a legitimate Windows ME sticker but runs XP. Perhaps the owner “lost” that program when “upgrading” the system software.
The only version of the hwsetup.exe program I could find on the Internet was intended for 660-series Porteges, and when I ran it, it tried to unzip to a floppy drive … which this machine doesn’t have.
So I’m not really any closer to getting this machine into a workable condition than I was two days ago, when I first brought it home, holding it at arm’s length, between thumb and forefinger. …
But in every obstacle, opportunity. I haven’t exhausted all my options yet, and just because one or two distros fall flat, that doesn’t mean everything is cursed to eternal doom.
Even a beat-up, battered, keyboardless, framebufferless Celeron has a few hoops it can jump through. …